This is our first look at Angus and his project. We're hoping to add more photos soon.
Like people who climb mountains just because they're there, I suspect I'm building an aircraft just because the irresistible opportunity exists....
Having gained a licence I learnt that you could build your own machine and was amazed! So the research began ending in a pretty diverse shortlist. Ultimately round the kitchen table one evening my wife declared "Well you like the red one, don't you?" At that point I was struggling to justify where my heart lay. Little did she know that in construction terms there are large undertakings, insanely ambitious projects, and of course the Falco.
I needed to speak to somebody who had done it. So, armed with Charles Wagner's (see Falco Legends) telephone number I rang him at work only to be met by a barrage of questions establishing who I was and why I should be trying to speak to him... only to find that the inquisitor was Charles himself! He insisted that I went to see his 80% complete Falco that evening. On arrival I was assaulted by many more questions -- these included a poorly disguised inquiry into my salary and interrogation why I wouldn't accept a cigarette or a drink! Which part of the interview unlocked the door is uncertain but I was then admitted to the double garage in which G-CWAG was taking shape. I left somewhat shocked that Charles could spend so much time trying to put me off -- but impressed nonetheless.
Less than a week later Charles was on the phone again: "Have you bought the plans yet?" I hadn't. "What in Christ's name are you waiting for?" I had no excuses and the order was obediently placed.
Thus in October 1994 the project began in a 3rd story Scottish flat in a bedroom two inches wider than the stabiliser wing span. As a qualified engineer, then building warships, the drawings were not a struggle and advice was plentiful from all trades in the yard experienced in welding several thousand tonne structures together.... I had a good early run on the tail, with my ballet-dancing wife away from home for several months of the year, allowing devotion to the build.
The process has been an adventure from the word go. I'm in
no hurry to finish and realise that the evening half hours I spend
building are a luxury -- anybody who is building merely to fly
at the end will be forever frustrated. Interruptions are inevitable
over such a long project and I have had my fair share, moving
house twice, two children, a job move, and
construction of a couple of interim projects amongst the main event.
Now Managing Director of a shipping company week days are hard pressed and the weekend has its own demands -- not least the lure of a club Tiger Moth off a grass strip just down the road. However, my Falco continues and will definitely take to the air one day. The only clock that ticks is against my declaration to be finished in time for my children are old enough to hold a licence.
Angus Buchanan was working as a project director for a shipbuilder in Glasgow, Scotland when he first purchased the Falco plans in 1994. There, he has worked constantly in a construction environment and has done major work on his home. Angus Buchanan, Standen Farm, Smarden Road, Biddenden, Nr. Ashford, Kent TN27 8JT, England. Telephone: Office: 071-338-5800 Home: 1580 291-827 Email: email@example.com